October 26th, 2007

The Genius Of Photography

The BBC's new history of photography isn't definitive- it leaves out too much- but it's insightful and full of nuggety bits of information.  Fox Talbot invented the calotype because he couldn't draw. There are still people taking daguerrotypes because they love the intensity and the shininess. Nadar's direct and incisive portraits of artists have never been bettered (I'll second that). Pictures of crime scenes taken by turn of the century NYC policemen prove the inherent genius of the medium. While Edwardian artist photographers were pretending to be Whistler it was the careless, snap-happy amateurs, like Lartigue, who drove the medium forwards.


George Sand by Nadar

Another Reason Why My Mother In Law Isn't My Favourite Person

They came round yesterday. They do. Every thursday afternoon. It's a fixture. This past year I've been trying to be nice to them, really I have.

My father-in-law is an OK bloke. He's not well but he's good humoured about it- and a whole lot less racist than he used to be. In fact, hardly racist at all. 

But my mother-in-law....

They were talking yesterday about how long a pair of family friends had been married and Ailz said, "Well they were married a year or two before I was- and if I'd stayed with Terence we'd have been married 30 years."

And my mother in law said, "Why ever did you leave him?"

She said this in our house. 

In my house.

(She has a tenderness for Terence. Terence had a tenderness for her. They're still in touch. My mother in law could always control Terence. She likes controlling people. )

I wasn't there when she said it. Pity really. I'd have enjoyed showing her the door. 

George Sand Again

baritonejeff asks about portraits of George Sand. As far as I know Nadar's is the only photograph. But I went to Wikipedia Commons to see what they had and found this image of the younger George (who was famous for cross-dressing) looking absolutely stunning in a top hat.

Image:1095George Sand with a hat lrg.jpg

It makes me want to read her novels.